Saturday, 8 November 2008

Getting Personal

Before I get started, I just want to make something clear; I am not lonely.

...Okay, so I am a little lonely, but I don't want you feeling sorry for me.

...That's not entirely true either; I am lonely and I do want you to feel sorry for me, but my loneliness was in no way the reason I found myself flicking through the personals this afternoon.

An e-mail from a friend had brought to my attention a lonely hearts ad on gumtree.com. It was far too graphic, far too long, and far too obscure to print in my rather high-brow blog, but for those of you interested here's the link (please don't read this unless you are comfortable with sexually explicit detail, and are resigned to the fact that the world is full of psychos).

Although a large number of people (at least 7, some researchers say more) use the personals to meet others as desperate and lonely as themselves, I've never been even slightly tempted. The truth is I don't like meeting strangers. I don't actually like people in general all that much, and the thought of placing myself in such a socially awkward situation makes me want to cocoon myself in my duvet.

The example got me to thinking though; there is a true art to reading between the lines of these ads and deciphering what a person is really saying. For those of you in need of help, I have prepared a brief guide to safely using the personal ads. Here are just a few of the people you are likely to come across, and would be well advised to avoid:

The ABRIEVIATOR

"F 24 WLTM M 19-49 GSOH for LOLLING, LWITP and RSIPP. PCM TTYL XOXO"

Translation:

"Female, 24, would like to meet male, aged 19-49 for laughing out loud, long walks in the park and rampant sex in public places. Please call me. Talk to you later."

This care-free bastardisation of the English language will tell us one of several things about the person placing the add. Invariably they are either:

  • 14 years old
  • A robot
  • Plain Stupid
  • The kind of person who spends more time talking on computers than conversing with real people (think Denis Nedry from Jurassic Park)
  • Young, and hip, and down with the lingo, despite being 50 years old
  • A journalist for the mirror
  • extremely poor or tight-fisted. Knowing that when paying by the word, abbreviations are a must.

At all costs this kind of person must be avoided. Seriously; do you ever want to see a wedding invitation with an emoticon next to your name?

As an added note, If a close friend starts to use such frequent abbreviations, you should consider it your duty to break their fingers and enrol them into night classes. The intelligence of our nation and the survival of our language depends on it. KWIM? (Know what I mean?).

The Ego

Have you ever met anyone whose impression of themselves is so skewed it seems preposterous. Someone who loves themselves so much, any reflective surface acts as an opportunity for them to get lost in their own eyes. Think hard I'm sure you can come up with one; the guy in the office who always calls the receptionist babe, or the barman at your local, who only serves the women and provides a free wink with every drink.

This is 'The Ego', who between extended periods of flirting with himself in his computer screen, places ads to let us all know how excruciatingly brilliant he is. He uses phrases like 'v attractive', 'successful', 'athletic build', 'great sense of humour' and 'a real catch', presumably because his mother once paid him a compliment, and he chose to believer her. At no point does he take the time to wonder why he is still single; he thinks of himself as picky and waiting for someone worthy to come along. The truth however, is that everyone thinks he's a  bit of a helmet.

The ego sometimes comes in the form of the superego (who let Freud in here?). This guy doesn't bother wasting time describing himself, assuming it is a given that he is so awesome it hurts. He places ads like the following (a genuine example):

Best Fucker in Brighton. Just Click and Tell Me What You Want

camon girls...im the best...

Rather aptly describing himself as a 'fucker', the truth is that this guy has probably never had sex, and most likely never will. He does however frequently enjoy making passionate love to himself, which explains why he's so assured in his capabilities.

The psychopath

The personal adds are like the yellow pages of victims for lonely psychos. Most often these adds will stick out like a pork chop at a Bar Mitzvah, but every so often one may slip under your radar.

Here's an example (genuine excerpt from a personal add):

Quick Blow Job Needed, Cash Paid:

Hi there,
I am a chilled out clean bloke.
I would like a blow job from a female. I am willing to pay £50.
please email me for details."

What the add really says:

Hi there, I am so disgusting even hookers won't touch me. If you meet me I will do terrible things to you, before burying you under my patio. £50 will be sent to your next of kin.

and another.....

Warm Touch

warm touch .....
contact me

What the add really says:

I will set fire to you. No joke.

Much like being a streetwalker; using the personal adds will quite often put you at the risk of meeting less-than-savoury characters. Your best form of defence will be to kill anyone you meet before they get a chance to lay a finger on you.

....And just like that; I make the world a safer place

The Desperate 

Some people are just unlucky in love. It is a genetic disposition, and is therefore untreatable. Having had their wives/husbands leave them for the lead singer of an AC/DC tribute band, these people have tried the local dating scene, resulting in the kind of rejection that would make Russell Crow's music career appear successful. As a last resort they have opted for the personal ads. If you get close enough to your monitor when reading these, you can virtually smell the desperation seeping from the text:

"middle aged, professional shoe salesman, seeks desperate clingy woman aged between 30-74, to share motor home, dull conversation and my love for Phil Collins. Payment negotiable"

These are what are known as 'safe bets' in the world of dating. If you have reached the point when being with anyone would be better than being alone, then reply to these ads. You will still be miserable, but at least you will be miserable together.

The ol' Perv

Making up around 50% of the personal ad community; 'The Ol' Perv' mostly advertises in newspapers, having been denied access to the Internet since his last conviction in the late 90's. Completely at ease with his perverse nature, the ads he places will leave you with no misconceptions about who he is. He is the uncle who used to make you sit on his knee. He is the Santa at your local shopping centre. He is the P.E teacher, who mysteriously disappeared halfway through the school term after offering to show you some stretches.

Another real example:

Teacher Looking for Students

Male teacher looking for young fresh students looking to gain experience...
Are you shy or uncertain, looking to find yourself and find confidence.
email me with a picture to arrange enrolment

What the add really says:

I am the reason you were home schooled

THE 'MY FETISH IS WIERDER THAN YOUR FETISH' GUY

Personal ads are full of people looking for someone to help carry out their fetishes. Most involve spanking, feet, whips, chains or clamps of some sort, and are filed away under the category of general fetishism. Some however, are more dedicated to the cause, and go that extra mile when it comes to becoming a complete sexual deviant.

The chances of meeting someone who also wants to dress up as a mallard and have hoi sin sauce drizzled over them during a rough-and-tumble session of avian coitus, are slim. Therefore the 'fetish' guy is eager to put himself out there in order to maximise his chances.

Yet more real examples:

I Will Pay Girls to Turn Me Into a Little Baby

I want dominant girls to transform me into a helpless little baby and make me dependent on them
I am happy to pay a fee and it can be on regular basis
I'm 57 5-6 tall slim shy and nervous
Eric

What the add really says:

I am everything a woman doesn't want. I can, however, change my own nappy, and I have cash.

...I want my mum

and

R U Into Wrestling Fun?

I'm looking for a female wrestling partner for fantasy fun. Facesitting - oily - fantasy roleplaying . Do you like the idea of erotic sex wrestling.
Get in touch with your ideas.

The latter of these adverts combines two of the tell tale warning signs I have mentioned; the abbreviation in the heading, and the complete sexual absurdity involved in the activity. If this is your thing then by all means go for it. Whatever you do though; don't make fun of his wrestling outfit, or his stage name. And if you remove his circa '89 Hulk Hogan action figure from it's packaging, be prepared for him to open up a can of whoop-ass.

Having sized up the competition, I have decided to test out my own eligibility in the dating sphere. My ad reads as follows:

Male, 25. Too busy to spend time with you, too selfish to care. Has own transport but wouldn't mind help paying for petrol. Limited/no financial income means I share a comfortable four bedroom house with my parents. Would like to meet attractive, young, extremely wealthy girl, for sitting quietly whilst I watch the football, and paying me compliments at half time. time-wasters may only apply.

Wish me luck.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Invention Intervention

Much like Rick Moranis in 'Honey I Shrunk the Kids' or Christopher Llyod in the 'Back to the Future' trilogy, real life has its own share of slightly unhinged yet borderline genius inventors. Once in a blue moon or so, one of these men will prove his worth and invent something irrefutably important to today's society, like Thomas Edison with the phonograph, or Alexander Graham Bell with text messaging. Most inventors however,are more likely to spend time burning their eyebrows and alienating their neighbours than achieving anything of genuine worth. It is for these people, these wannabe DaVincis, these chemistry set Carvers and bumbling Babbages, that this is dedicated. For all of you whose lightening-strike epiphany was never realised, here is your moment to shine. Here, is the definitive list of the most incredibly stupid inventions ever.

1. Erm....A Unicorn

Patented in the United States (where else), this is by far the most obscure example on the list. The invention itself is described as a "method of growing unicorns in a manner that enhances the overall development of the animal". Sound fucked up? You haven't heard the half of it!


The man/myth/legend behind this idea is a Dr W. Franklin Dove, a biologist at the University of Maine and a passionate advocate of messing around with nature and giving God's will the middle finger. Without going into intensely graphic detail, the basis of Dove's idea involved operating on a week old goat (not to be confused with a weak, old goat) in order to manipulate its two horn buds into one. This brings us to ask several questions. Firstly; at which point did animal mutilation become an invention? And secondly; why the hell would you want a uni-goat anyway? Apparently, in response to the latter question, Dove thought the procedure would increase the animal's intelligence and that a one horned goat would make a rather useful guard animal. He also, secretly hoped that the animal would develop wings, and fly him to a land where pixies play in fields of clover and little boys never grow old...possibly.

The patent for this invention expired a while back, so we can now all feel free to try and turn any animal we like into a unicorn. What makes this genuinely shocking is that it actually works (see photo), but that doesn't make it right! I couldn't find out what became of Dr Dove. Rumour has it amongst the scientific community that the good doctor was found dead one morning in his bedchamber. His penis had been stitched to his head in an obscure tribute to his work and a mysterious hooded figure, accompanied by a one horned goat, were seen fleeing the crime scene.
For more information on this whack job procedure, on the off-chance that you have a few hours and a spare goat to kill: http://v3.espacenet.com/textdoc?CY=ep&LG=en&IDX=US4429685&QPN=US4429685

 

 

 

2. The Marine Mammal Communication Device


Never, EVER assume that anyone affiliated with Walt Disney is of sound mind. Apparently after the success of 1989's 'The Little Mermaid' and various other 'talking animal' films, the bigwigs at the Walt Disney Company (who had evidently celebrated the film's success by smoking crack and dropping acid, until their eyes bled and their lobster dinner started singing to them) decided that communicating with sea life was a worthwhile endeavour.

This led to a meeting of minds from some of the finest marine scientists in California and Florida, who had previously been spending their time board shaping, and trying to figure out a way to purify the smoke from their homemade bottle bongs (think 'Point Break' with scientists instead of cops). What they came up with was described as a communication device that "enables marine mammals, such as dolphins, to communicate with humans and with each other". Now, I can hear you all saying "Can't dolphins already communicate with each other? Isn't that why they make those high pitched squeaking sounds?".  Well try telling that to Disney, they'll laugh in your face and continue to draw a duck in a towel, because that's just the way they roll.

The outcome of this brainstorming was for all intents and purposes a giant underwater keyboard. The theory behind this is as follows; 'scientists' can play notes to the dolphins, who can then swim through lasers to activate notes of

their own, which in turn are relayed back to the 'scientists'....or something like that, I don't really know, I got bored reading about it. In theory this is as sound as a pound. The only real problems started to occur when the communications began:


Imagine, if you will; three scientists sat around a computer sending a melody out through their underwater keyboard. Eventually, after weeks, maybe months of waiting, their message is returned. There is a communal gasp and an eerie silence in the lab, this was the big moment;

"What did it say?", asks one scientist barely able to hide his excitement.
"It said.....F#"
"F# ?"
"Yes, or a Gb, depends which way you look at it"

There's another pause as the scientists try to comprehend what this could mean.
"oh fuck this, let's go and unfreeze Walt's head again".
The scientists, I assume, quickly became bored and realising their endeavour was pointless attempted to teach chimpanzees the opening riff from 'Smoke on the Water'.
For those of you interested enough:

United States Patent US5392735


3. Smoker's Hat


Remember the day's when smoking was cool? The days before we knew of the irreparable damage that it does to your body. The days when cigarettes were associated with the likes of James Dean and Audrey Hepburn, not emphysema and lung cancer. Well, as if doctors haven't already done enough to convince us that smoking is neither big nor clever, some genius decided to invent something that would squeeze the vary last gasps of cool from our favourite bad habit. May I present to you; 'The Smoker's Hat'.

'The Smoker's Hat' is a piece of headgear invented in order to allow people to smoke without affecting those around them. "Well wait a minute", I pretend to hear you say, "this may actually be a good idea. If this thing exists then why was the smoking ban introduced at all? Surely we could all just wear smoker's hats and sit in the comfort of the local pub?" This would be true, if the smoker's hat didn't look something like this (see picture). And everyone in the normal_smokers_hatworld would rather stand out in the cold than be the dick who paid for one of these.

It's an embarrassment. Even if it looked cool, it wouldn't be, because of the simple fact that all smoking related fashion-accessories fail to catch on. Look at the 'Iron Lung'; once tipped to be the next big thing, like the Pokemon or drink-driving, it turned out to be little more than a cumbersome tank that assists breathing. It lacks style and integrity, as does the hat. It's also impractical. Am I really supposed to take the time to put this on after a heated spell of sexual sparring for the all important post-coital ciggy?

There is a positive element to the 'Smoker's Hat' however; it filters all of your smoky air, and releases it instead as a scented gust of smoke free guff. Basically it is a huge fucking exhaust, but with this is mind you can quite happily smoke weed, crack, or crystal meth without anyone thinking twice about it. They'll just assume you're some bloke with a funny hat and no friends, who continually squirts perfume out of his noggin. 

Similar inventions I found include the 'Quit Smoking Ashtray", which apparently reminds you that's smoking is bad every time you go to stub out your ciggy. Because obviously, we need a reminder. This is the equivalent of a gun that screams "bullets hurt" every time you fire it, or a condom that slyly whispers "It'll feel better without me....but you could catch V.D" just before sex. We conclude that anyone who buys this ashtray is a sadist, anyone who buys the smokers hat is an idiot, and anyone who is still reading this should probably have nipped out for a fag instead.


*The picture of the smoking hat is an artists impression and is not representative of the original design.
Linkitylinklinklink

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Emotional Liberation From the Blog Block

I don't know when I got it, or who I got it from. Yesterday I seemed fine. There were no visible symptoms, no rash, no burning sensation, no unusual secretions. Today however, everything is different. Somehow, I have contracted.....writer's block.

I'm sure it happens to all of us every once in a while. The (occasionally) creative river runs dry, and where once words flowed like vitamin water in a gymnasium, all  of a sudden I am arid, destitute, desert.

I honestly can't think of one thing worth spilling words over. Normally when this happens I flick through a newspaper and pick out the article that seems the most preposterous, spattering vitriolic diatribe onto the screen until I get bored and find something else to do.

Unfortunately for me it's a slow news week. I could blog about the credit crunch, or the public outcry resulting from a misjudged practical joke by two British comedians, but seriously I'm sick of hearing about both matters (the latter of which at this point seems to have covered more pages than Watergate).

I sit mulling things over, fingers poised above keys, waiting for a divine moment of inspiration. And then it hits me; in a truly pretentious way, writing about not being able to write, is in turn writing about something. This may sound like the kind of thought pattern that could break the time/space continuum, much like seeing yourself in the future and causing some kind of cataclysmic brain meltdown. But think about it, what I have done here, is in itself, a genuine piece of work.

...not buying it?...me neither.

Instead of sticking with this rather smug hypothesis, I Google 'cures for writer's block', and find something astonishing, life-changing even:

The Emotional Freedom Technique

I know it may sound like the kind of process that will involve forming a circle, hugging a tree, and playing tambourine rhythms to Simon and Garfunkle's back-catalogue, but in truth this is actually some crazy hippy shit.

I watch a video where an American writer takes me through the basics of the EMT.

She tells me to tap the side of my hand whilst uttering a 'setup statement'. I follow her instructions. Her setup statement is as follows:

"even though I have writer's block, I completely love and accept myself"

mine is similar:

"even though I am doing as the crazy lady tells me, I am struggling not to be sick in my mouth"

The loving and accepting continues as the lady in the video taps not only her wrist, but also several different areas of her face. I watch closely and follow instructions. I tap next to my eyebrow, freeing negative energy with each prod. I then tap my temple and my chin, all the time secretly hoping she'll accidentally poke herself in the eye.

She doesn't, I quickly get bored. This goes on for five minutes. She talks to herself FOR FIVE MINUTES. I go and make coffee and come back, she's still talking. Still tapping.

Next we take a deep breath. I feel as if I need it.

"Now what I forgot to do in the beginning" she says...my faith in her begins to wean. I close the webpage.

Despite the fact that the emotional freedom technique has stolen nine minutes of my life that I will never get back, Something has occurred to me. Although I am absolutely positive that I will never sit in my room, alone, prodding my face, and talking to myself ever again, something about the process has worked...because I have written something.

I send her a thankful e-mail.

I am rid of my blog block.